Colorless Tsukuru Tazaki and His Years of Pilgrimage
|The US cover without jacket, which is how I got it|
I must confess that I have not had a ton of luck with Murakami in the past. I liked After the Quake pretty well, but gave up on IQ84 after about 8 pages. I wasn't too sure I wanted to read Colorless Tsukuru, but the cover is pretty hard to resist and I thought I'd give it a try and I could always quit if I didn't like it. I was pleasantly surprised to find that I enjoyed it quite a bit, and in fact I think I finished it in just one day.
Tsukuru Tazaki has never had a high opinion of himself. He thinks of himself as lacking personality, "an empty vessel" with nothing much to offer. In high school, he belonged to a close-knit group of 5 friends, and even then he wasn't sure he was worthy, but then they kicked him out of the group with no explanation; just "we never want to see you again." At age 35, he looks reasonably successful but he's still drifting. A new date encourages him to see if he can't heal his past wounds by finding out what happened.
I was really interested and enjoyed most of the book, though it got too graphic for me at times. This being Murakami, we are left hanging a bit at the end, with less resolution than a more traditional novelist would give. Good stuff, though.